Baltic accent

2022 Vol. 13 №2

Back to the list Download the article

Сorrelation of the oral and the written in topolect poetry



The paper describes the practice of creating poetic texts on lects that possess a problemat­ic linguistic status. The author proposes using ‘topolect’ as a universal term for such entities, which allows them to be placed in a special category of language systems that occupy an in­termediate level between the standard and the rather homogeneous territorial dialects in a kind of multilingualism that is characterized by the distribution of functions between idioms. The analysis of the poetic tradition of topolects makes it possible to reveal some general pat­terns of text functioning for the texts on de facto normalized, but not subjected to strict standardization, semi-autonomous idioms. Different modes of correlating the oral and the written in these texts come in direct connection with the practice of recitation and other forms of the auditory existence of poetry. The introduction of new empirical material contributes to the reassessment of the problem of the oral and the written, since it demonstrates the non-equivalence of the oral and the spoken, and the written and the literary. The visually percepti­ble text in its written form is informatively not equivalent to the voiced version of the same text. Building relationships between ‘visual speech’ (in the form of a poetic text) and its sounding shows the evolution of topolect writing and metalanguage reflection of its authors.


Babenko, N. S., Karpov, V. I., 2008. Dialect in the system of forms of language exis­tence (to the history of the issue). In: Aktual’nye problemy nemetskoi ostrovnoi dialekto­logii (pamyati G. G. Ediga) [Actual problems of German island dialectology (in me­mo­ry of G. G. Edig). Materials of the All-Russian Scientific and practical seminar (Kras­noyarsk, June 2—4, 2008)]. Krasnoyarsk, pp. 10—27 (in Russ.).

Bai Jianhua, 1994. Language Attitude and the Spread of Standard Chinese in Chi­na. Language Problems and Language Planning, 18 (2), pp. 128—138.

Baran, D., 2004. “Taiwanese Don’t Have Written Words”: Language Ideologies and Language Practice in a Taipei County High School. In: Proceedings of the Taiwan International Romanization Forum 2004 (2004 羅馬 字 國際 研討會 論文集). Tainan, pp. 35-1—35-10.

Basistech, 2012. The Identification of Romanized Arabic in Online Communication. Available at: Arabic-EN.pdf [Accessed: 18 April 2021].

Bell, R. T., 1976. Sociolinguistics: Goals, Approaches and Problems. London.

Blum, S. D., 2004. Good to Hear: Using the Trope of Standard to Find One’s Way in a Sea of Linguistic Diversity. In: Language Policy in the People’s Republic of China. Dordrecht, pp. 123—141.

Borodina, M. A., 1982. Dialects or regional languages? (On the problem of the lan­guage situation in modern France). Voprosy Jazykoznanija [Topics in the study of lan­guage], 5, pp. 29—38 (in Russ.).

Coulmas, F., 1991. Does the notion of diglossia apply to Japanese? Some thoughts and some documentation. Southwest Journal of Linguistics, 10 (1), pp. 125—142.

Donaldson, W., 1989. The Language of the People: Scots Prose from the Victorian Re­vival. Aberdeen.

Dreysis, Yu. A., 2020. Development of a Written Language for the Sounds of a Topolect: Initial Stage of Hong Kong Yue Formation. Vestnik Moskovskogo Universi­teta. Seriya 13. Vostokovedenie [Moscow University Bulletin. Series 13. Oriental Stu­dies], 3, pp. 37—55 (in Russ.).

Fang Xuejia 房学嘉, 1994. Kejia yuanliu tan’ao 客家源流探奥 [Survey on the His­torical Roots of Hakka]. Guangzhou (in Chinese).

Groves, J., 2008. Language or Dialect—or Topolect? A Comparison of the Attitu­des of Hong Kongers and Mainland Chinese towards the Status of Cantonese. Sino-Pla­tonic Papers, 179, pp. 1—103.

Gukhman, M. M., 1985. Funktsional’naya stratifikatsiya yazyka [Functional stratifi­cation of language]. Moscow (in Russ.).

Halliday, M., 1989. Spoken and Written Language. Oxford.

Jiang Weiwen 蔣為文, 2005. Yuyan, rentung yu quzhimin 語言、認同與去殖民 [Lan­guage, Identity, and Decolonization]. Tainan (in Chinese).

Kalgina, E. A., 2018. The Problem of “Language” vs. “Dialect”: Scots Language Variety in Modern Britain. Vestnik Voronezhskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. Ser.: Lingvistika i mezhkul’turnaya kommunikatsiya [Proceedings of Voronezh State Universi­ty. Series: Linguistics and intercultural communication], 1, pp. 34—36 (in Russ.).

Ota, K., 2005. An investigation of written Taiwanese: Master’s thesis. Univer­sity of Hawai’i at Manoa.

Mair, V. H., 1991. What Is a Chinese “Dialect / Topolect”? Reflections on Some Key Sino-English Linguistic terms. Sino-Platonic Papers, 29, pp. 1—31.

Ostapenko, I. A., 1980. Nekotorye aspekty yazykovoi situatsii i osobennosti angliiskogo yazyka v Shotlandii [Some aspects of the language situation and peculiarities of the English language in Scotland]. Kalinin (in Russ.).

Pauwels, A., 1986. Diglossia, immigrant dialects and language maintenance in Australia: the case of Limburgs and Swabian. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, 7, pp. 13—30.

Polyan, A. L., 2016. Poeticheskii tekst na “spyashchem” yazyke v usloviyakh mnog­oyazychiya (na materiale poezii na ivrite III—XIX vv. n. e.) [Poetic text in a “sleeping” language in conditions of multilingualism (based on the material of poetry in He­brew of III—XIX centuries AD)]. PhD thesis. Moscow (in Russ.).

Razumova, L. V., 2010. The definition problem of the term “regional languages”. Uchenye zapiski Zabaikal’skogo gosudarstvennogo gumanitarno-pedagogicheskogo universi­teta im. N. G. Chernyshevskogo [Scientific notes of the N. G. Chernyshevsky Trans-Bai­kal State Humanitarian Pedagogical University], 3, pp. 111—115 (in Russ.).

Stewart, W. A., 1962. An Outline of Linguistic Typology for Describing Multilin­gualism. In: Study of the Role of Second Languages in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Wa­shington, DC, pp. 15—25.

Stewart, W. A., 1968. A Sociolinguistic Typology for Describing National Multi­lin­gualism. In: Readings in the Sociology of Language. The Hague, pp. 531—545.

Trudgill, P., 1974. Sociolinguistics: An Introduction. Middlesex, New York.

Wardhaugh, R., 2000. An Introduction to Sociolinguistics. 3d ed. Beijing.

Wolfram, W., 1998. Language Ideology and Dialect. Journal of English Linguistics, 26 (2), pp. 108—121.

Yakhontov, S. E., 1980. Assessment of the degree of proximity of related lan­guages. In: Teoreticheskie osnovy klassifikatsii yazykov mira [Theoretical foundations of the classification of the languages of the world]. Moscow, pp. 148—157 (in Russ.).

Yang Xiufang 楊秀芳, 1994. Lun wen bai yi du 論文白異讀 [On the Differences Be­tween the Literary and Colloquial Readings]. In: Wang Shumin xiansheng bashi shou­qing lunwenji [Collection of Articles in Honor of the 80th birthday of Wang Shumin]. Taipei, pp. 823—849 (in Chinese).